Free Comic Book Day 2014 has come and gone, and what a day it was. I was at my local comic shop, A Hero’s Legacy Comics and Collectibles, where I have been every year in the store’s various incarnations, with the exception of last year (I was traveling), since the very first FCBD. I had an amazing time selling my books to new and longtime readers, and I had an absolutely mind-blowingly great time meeting everyone, talking to people, and selling more books in one four-hour span than I have in my entire career. I am now completely sold out of The Gang From the Store, and I almost completely sold out of all the copies of Moon Freight 3 volume 1 I had with me yesterday.

To say this was the largest, most successful FCBD since the beginning would be an understatement. AHL open at 10 a.m., and from 10:15 until I left at about 2:30, the line was out the door. The store handed out hundreds of free comics and sold many more. People young and old, longtime readers and newbies, they all came in to see what the wonderful world of comics has to offer. People were excited and eager and couldn’t wait to read.

And since this is an issue with a little bit of controversy surrounding it lately, I want to point out how many women and girls came in to read comics. Not just new readers, either. A number of young girls and girls in their early teens came by my table, and to them, reading comics is a matter-of-fact part of their lives. It’s not some new, scary thing they don’t know anything about. They’re readers. They’re fans. They love comics and they love finding something new and exciting to read that would appeal to them as much as the next fan. Female readers are here, have been here, and they’re here to stay, and everyone in comics, from publishers to creators to fellow fans, needs to acknowledge that and welcome them with open arms into this wonderful world. Do otherwise and you do so to your own detriment. A Hero’s Legacy is and has always been very open, and I’m proud to say I could be a part of that.